One final Asturias post. I have OCD about completing and publishing every single half written post in my drafts you understand…
Whilst a lot of us head down to Southern Spain in the summer, most of Southern Spain heads North to the cooler climes of Asturias, where there is still the choice to beach worship if you still need a bit of a sun fix, or you could head straight to the mountain range a little over 2.5 hours drive from Oviedo for a spot of climbing, hiking, or some cave exploration maybe (the Picos de Europa may not be huge at 249sq miles, but they spread across three provinces – Cantabria, Asturias and Leon – and also boast some of the deepest caves in the world!), or you could simply take time out to relax in the cool and shady beauty of these magnificent rocks…
The Picos de Europa (The Peaks of Europe) might have a pretty grand name – but to ancient sailors arriving from the Americas, this mountain range must have seemed so vast and visible far from land, and it was reportedly the first sighting they had of Europe. Whether that’s actually true or not, the grand name has stuck, and I am glad, because having recently lived besides mountains for many years, it takes a very special range to completely take my breath away as they did when we rounded a corner to first see them…
Not that we headed straight to the mountains on that particular day, we had a couple of detours along the way, first stop Covadonga – a small town high up in the foothills famous for both historical (many believe to be the birth place of Spain – this article explains its history perfectly) and religious reasons. It has a beautiful Basilica, a holy cave that still attracts pilgrims to this day (also a final resting place for a couple of Kings no less), and various impressive buildings and statues dotted about the town square.
If you are thinking of exploring properly, do invest in a decent guide book, and/or consider booking a guide to show you the best hiking routes. Do look at booking accommodation (how cute is this place?) beforehand if you are thinking of making it a two-three day trek…
Given the proximity to the sea, the weather in this area can change dramatically so be prepared for all eventualities;
The Picos De Europa is a protected park, so don’t take anything home with you (we did think about taking a tiny little goat home that looked lost and stuck in a tree, he wasn’t lost, and he wasn’t stuck!), and don’t leave anything behind;
The climbing here is obviously world class, but don’t take any huge risks, and again, invest in a decent book/look at booking a professional guide to take you out;
Roads are open all year around to various Picos sites, but bear in mind that national holidays can get very busy!
I lived in Asturias for a year and absolutely loved it! The nature there is just amazing! I’m glad you liked it too!
Oh Viki, what a wonderful place to live! Thanks for commenting! :)
What a beautiful part of Spain – one that you don’t hear much about. It sounds like a wonderful area to go hiking in. Your photos are beautiful – especially like the goat. And Rincon del Poo surely appeals to everyone? My husband would think that was the funniest place ever…
Really ideal for hiking! I have sent a few keen hiker friends in that direction already! Thanks so much Emily! :)
Chorizo Baguette? Yes please!
That with the cider was the best combination. Thanks Greg! :)
What a beautiful place, and I would have picked Rinco de poo as well. With such gorgeous views, farms, goats, and more I would have loved just wandering, hiking like you did.
Thanks Corinne, it’s a really beautiful place. I am sure you would love it! :)
Sandy N Vyjay says
The place is so lovely, the meal looks quite delicious. Moreover the mountains look amazing and the pictures are stunning and bring alive Picos-De-europa in full colour and vivid detail.
Thanks so much Sandy! :)
I love reading about smaller places in Europe that most tourists don’t know about. Those are some gorgeous photos! How did you ever leave?? :P
Begrudgingly! Thanks Brianna! :)
Elena Nemets says
I love Spain! Been there 3 times and still feel I have a lot more to see there. Thanks for inspiration.
Thanks Elena. If you haven’t seen much of the North, I would really recommend this place…
I havent heard of this part of spain before but it looks beautiful. I love the mountains and its where I feel at home and that range looks amazing. There looks to be a lot to do in the area so hopefully I can get to visit there.
Clare, you must try to visit if you can, it’s just stunning! Thank you! :)
Punita Malhotra says
Those pictures of the Peaks of Europe are really beautiful. They seem to remote and rugged…almost inhospitable terrain, but I suppose therein lies their beauty.
It’s so beautiful Punita, and almost seems devoid of anybody else – apart from goats! :) Thank you!
Nell (Pigeon Pair and Me) says
It would’ve been incredible to see wolves, bears or wil boar, but I must admit, the goats look fearsome enough! The views are magnificent. Food for the soul! #MondayEscapes
The goats definitely wanted to let us know we were in their territory. :D Thanks Nell!
Lisa (Travel Loving Family) & Trips100 Editor says
What an incredible place! Your photos are amazing and it sounds like the perfect family holiday. Thanks for sharing your tips with us over on #MondayEscapes
Thanks very much Lisa! It’s really worth a visit! :)
Your photographs make the mountains look equally as brilliant as Bavaria – who would guess these are virtually on our doorstep – if you live near Stansted that is! Lovely post opening our eyes to a part of Spain that is often overlooked. x
Thank you. I know you would love it. xx
Trish @ Mum's Gone To says
I know nothing about this area at all – have never been in my whole life ;-)
I would have gone to the Poo place too: you couldn’t have not passed a poo without having a good look, could you!
:D I knew you would approve of the stopping off place!
Jumble Tree says
Really enjoyed reading about your travels in the Asturias, looks fabulous Emma, and sounds like it was one of those great family holidays that gives you a lovely lift. Think I’m craving a bit of adventure at the moment, preferably with sunshine and tasty food like the delicious looking chorizo baguettes (+ the cider). Roll on Easter … :) x
Thanks to much T! x
Sally's Tips 4 Trips says
What a beautiful place. I can see why Rancon Del Poo was chosen. Something like that would appeal to my young man as well.
Thanks Sally. I think it’s a boy thing! :D
Mags (The Family Freestylers) says
Wow the Picos de Europa looks stunning! Thanks for this post which I read with great interest as I’ve never heard of this mountain range (and we love mountains!). The basilica looks so beautiful!
I hadn’t heard of it either Mags, and it’s just so lovely! Thanks for popping over! :)
Umm, should I admit that you don’t need to be ten years old to scoff at the name there! Lovely photos and yes, the mountain range is stunning indeed!
Thanks Tania! :)